Non-doms who are being warned off the UK by punitive new taxation are looking to places like the Caribbean to invest, it has been claimed.
According to 7 th Heaven Properties, if you're considering a spot in the Caribbean that will be both beautiful and a savvy place for your cash, the island of St Lucia is as good as it gets.
Its natural beauty is considered by many to be the most intense in the Caribbean – and it also has a strong local culture that meshes well with foreign residents and the investor community. The southern part of the island has a rainforest and a huge diversity of species on land and water.
Then, of course, there is the tax-free aspect: no VAT, no capital gains and no inheritance or estate taxes.
Walter Zehirin, managing director of 7th Heaven Properties, a Caribbean property specialist, says 5 per cent return is the minimum he would expect for a good property investment in St Lucia – that figure could reach 10-12 per cent.
He says many developments planned a few years ago in the height of the property bubble didn't go ahead – the ones that have are sound, well-financed properties run by good management companies. "You're not getting any of those off-plan properties now," says Zephirin. "These are all very good, proper developments that are really happening."
Increased direct flights, burgeoning development (new port and extended airport, for example) and the influx of ex-UK based non-doms looking for a new spot have all fuelled activity and investment in the St Lucia property market. It's becoming the Caribbean's hottest spot, and – if you act fast – still offers great value for money.